All adults can now receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Here’s what you need to know and where to get one in Austin. – Community News
Covid-19

All adults can now receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Here’s what you need to know and where to get one in Austin.

With the holidays approaching, it may be time to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine booster. Last week, federal officials expanded eligibility for the shots and now anyone 18 or older can get one.

These shots help provide better protection against serious illness and death from the coronavirus.

“As we learn more about the vaccines, we know it’s important for individuals to get a booster to stay protected against COVID-19,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, the Austin-Travis County Health Authority, in a press release. “With the latest changes, everyone aged 18 and over is advised to get a booster if they qualify. This is a critical step to ensure we prevent future increases in COVID-19 cases.”

Here’s what you need to know and where to get the shot:

Recipients of the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine

Those who have received the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna are eligible for a booster injection six months after receiving their last dose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distinguishes between who should and who can get a booster shot. The recommendation is stronger for people who are older and those who live in environments where they are at higher risk of infection.

The CDA says:

  • You should get a booster if you are 50 years of age or older.
  • You should get a booster if you are 18 years of age or older and live in a long-term care setting.
  • You can get a booster if you are 18 years or older.

You do not need to receive the same type of vaccine that you originally received. You can mix and match and get any of the three approved vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) for your booster shot.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Recipients

If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier this year, the CDC says you should get a booster shot if you are 18 years of age or older. You should receive the booster at least two months after your original injection.

You don’t need to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again. You can choose from any vaccine approved for use: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer.

What you need to know before you go

  • Remember to bring your COVID-19 vaccination card so the health care professional can add information about your booster shot. If you don’t have one, contact the place where you got your first vaccination or the state health department to find out how to get a card.
  • You may experience side effects such as tiredness or fever from the booster, but this is normal and should subside within a few days. Read more about possible side effects here.

Where to get a booster in Austin

COVID vaccines are now widely available, unlike when the vaccine rollout started. According to the nationwide vaccine searcher Vaccines.gov, you should be able to get a booster at any place that dispenses COVID-19 vaccines.

Boosters, for example, are now available at all Austin Public Health vaccine clinics. You can walk to one of the clinics to receive an injection or make an appointment online or by phone by calling 512-974-2000. APH offers Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Travis County also offers booster shots during its weekly vaccine events. No appointment is necessary.

The organization VaxTogetherAustin offers booster shots at some of its vaccine clinics in Central Texas. Read more here.

UT Health Austin offers booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine. You can make an appointment online or call 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737).

You can also schedule a booster appointment at pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, HEB and Randalls.